I’ve wanted to grow my own food for years. I love the idea of having something to tend to that would make sure I spent time outside each day, would reduce my carbon footprint, and give the satisfaction of eating organic foods that I’ve watched change day by day. Seriously everything about it just sounds so enjoyable and sustainable.
When we bought our home last year I knew I wanted to start a backyard garden and finally try to grow something more than succulents. I admire people with natural green thumbs, sadly that is not the case for me. I have accidently killed off pretty much every plant I’ve ever had. All those poor plants didn’t exactly leave me feeling confident about the whole growing part of my backyard garden dream. Despite my past plant history it has been a wonderful surprise how well it has been going so far. I figured if I can do it anyone can, and wanted to share how I got started with you all. I have a super small backyard, less than 300 sq feet, so our box is not big but it’s a start and you can do the steps below to build any size box you want.
1. Find your spot! Look for a place that gets good sunlight and take some measurements of how long and wide you’re going to want your box to be. Now with your measurements head to the hardware store to get your supplies.
2. Make sure to buy non-treated wood. This is super important, you don’t want pressure treated wood lining your garden. The treated wood can leak all kinds of nasty chemicals, including formaldehyde, into your soil which is no good for your organic garden. I got redwood since it’s naturally resistant to water rot and pests. How deep you want your box is totally up to you mine is 15 inches. Also if you’re not married to a carpenter ;) you can ask the nice workers at the hardware store to make your cuts for you there.
3. You will need a power drill to put your box together. While you’re at the hardware store pick up some 3 inch long screws, organic soil, compost and weed liner. I got one part compost for 3 three parts soil mix to fill my box. Not everyone will need or want weed liner but if you have insane crab grass like we do it’s totally worth it; I swear one day I’m going to wake up with it crawling through my bedroom window. I was so happy to find some made from recycled plastic bottles…so cool!
4. Once you get back at home loosen the dirt where your box is going to go and lay out your pieces of wood. Make a corner by putting one cut end to the flat surface of the other piece of wood, then put a screw through the outside flat surface into the cut end, being sure to keep your pieces flush. It will be easier if you pre drill the holes for the screws, this will keep the thin cut edge from splitting. Screw your pieces of wood together, and work your way around to the other corners; repeating the process, to make your box. Use at least three screws per corner joint. Put down your liner if you bought it and staple it to the inside sides of your box.
5. Fill your box with your organic soil and compost and be sure to mix them together.
6. Now you’re ready to start planting!
I might do another blog post on types of plants to grow and when to start from seed and when to buy plant starts; if that’s something that would interest you all let me know. I’m a total beginner but I figure we could learn together if there’s interest since I’m doing the research anyways. Anyone else have a backyard garden or dreams of one?